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Cama Adentro/Live-In Maid

Wry desperation in Buenos Aires
By PEG ALOI  |  October 17, 2007
2.5 2.5 Stars
HAIR CUTTING THE CLASSES: Live-In Maid wryly looks at socio-economic struggle.

The winner of the Special Jury Prize at Sundance 2005, Jorge Gaggera’s first feature is a wry look at issues of class, aging, and socio-economic struggle. Beba (Norma Aleandro, Best Actress at Cannes 1985 for La historia oficial|The Official Story) is a spoiled divorcee who can no longer support her decadent Buenos Aires lifestyle. Live-in housekeeper Dora (Norma Argentina) hasn’t been paid in months, but she keeps Beba’s home sparkling and fills the top-shelf whiskey bottles with cheap swill. Meanwhile, Beba halfheartedly sells cosmetics and pawns some jewelry, but her extravagant ways catch up with her, and the long-suffering Dora is forced to abandon her job of 30 years. Both actresses embody their roles with subtlety and subdued emotion — Aleandro especially, pride, humiliation, and desperation palpable in her regal face.
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